As many of you already know, Anime Expo kicked off earlier today. This is the biggest convention of the year, as it attracts over 46,000 attendees every year. For reference, Bristol County, where I was raised, contains three towns that span 45 square miles and have a combined population of 49,875. So, in this sense, Anime Expo manages to cram three towns’ worth of people into less than a square mile. This is where the anime industry struts its stuff, and shows off its biggest licenses.
This year’s already started with a bang, as a few titles fans have been salivating over were revealed, and old favorites were rescued. Aniplex was particularly aggressive, as they came out with announcements for Madoka Magica. Nozomi, on the other hand, represented a more conservative side of the event, as they revealed that they’d be rescuing Dirty Pair Flash, Gasaraki, and Martian Successor Nadesico. Even they had a surprise up their sleeve though, as they revealed that they had nabbed the rest of the original Dirty Pair, as well as all dub tracks available – which includes the long-lost Streamline dub. FUNimation held their typical “buffet style” license announcements, as they unveiled Deadman Wonderland, Steins Gate, and three other shows.
Every Anime Expo, I swear that I won’t go overboard, I won’t get too excited, and I’ll pretend like it’s any other day. However, every year, I also wind up breaking that vow. Even though it’s thousands of miles away, there is simply so much going on, so many things coming from the show that I can’t help but feel like I’m in the thick of it. Twitter feeds erupts with cheerful chatter, news sites refresh at an alarming pace, and I simply get caught up in the rush.
This year, I was particularly pleased to see so many classics get rescued. With the acquisition of Flash and the films, it will be the first time that Dirty Pair was entirely available in America. Dirty Pair Flash in particular was a fun follow-up to the original, and it is a title that I sincerely hope will become a staple of fans’ collections again. Martian Successor Nadesico is an adaptation of a Kia Asamiya classic that is well known among the older set for being a simple, fun show in a period when Eva controlled the hearts and minds of the masses. Gasaraki stands as the dark horse of the current crop of license picks, as it’s a Sunrise show that is very unlike the typical Sunrise show. It’s obtuse, dark, and very eager to delve into the technical aspects. The show is regarded as very “love-it-or-hate-it”, and seems to perform only with in a specific niche.
Anyway, the event has just begun. It’s a bit too early to comment on the big “winners” and “losers” of the convention. Although, in this case, it seems to be the attendees that are the big winners, as always. I do hope that the next three days will be as exciting as what we’ve seen already. It’s a long weekend, and the fun is just beginning. And to everybody attending the Expo, have fun, for those of us who couldn’t make it!